I have a thing for self-help books. I can’t help it. I firmly believe in doing my best to overcome any challenges I face in life, including the ones that arise from my personality or thinking habits. One of the “issues” I’m currently trying to heal is my relationship with money. We all have a money story and mine could use some improvement.
One idea I’ve been feeling a close affinity to, lately, is the idea that our lives and bodies are not our own. They don’t belong to us. We will leave them behind at some point and, regardless of what we believe comes next, that is a sobering thought. If I don’t even own my body, the thing that goes with me everywhere and is the only thing that can’t be taken from me, then maybe my understanding of life and the choices we make in it need to shift.
Enter The Treasure Principle: Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving by Randy Alcorn. This isn’t a new book; it’s a revised and updated edition. Randy lets us know that when the book first came out, he received quite a lot of grief. He’s a Christian writer, writing from a Christian perspective about what God has said in the Bible about money. As someone who has read The New Testament often enough, I was surprised that the book found controversy among believers. When it comes to money, though, isn’t that often the way things are?
Randy pushes the idea that Jesus was clear in the Gospel that we are to give away our wealth. God let us know that this life and its riches are temporary; we need to strive for eternal riches, not temporal ones. Chapter 2 states the Scriptural “proof” quite thoroughly. Through a quick, enjoyable read, Randy lets us in on his thought processes. It’s compelling and it’s something that aligns with my understanding of the Bible. My favorite part of the book begins toward the end, on page 102, when Randy shares “31 Radical, Liberating Questions to Ask God About Your Giving”. I’m a huge fan of asking God questions and mulling over the answers I receive, so this section was a little exciting. We never need to lean on our own understanding. We can always go straight to Source.
While the main crux of Randy’s argument in The Treasure Principle is rooted in the fact that we can’t take any of this with us, anyway, the message I found most compelling was how money is sacred and it’s intended for sacred work. As someone who often feels that money seems to do more harm than good in the world, it felt good to read a perspective that made money part of God’s inherently good world. This perspective leaves me wanting to see how my money can be of direct benefit for spiritual good in the world. I can’t say that I’ve ever read a Christian book about money that left me feeling this way. I’m more curious about how I can use money in a sacred manner and for the Higher Good.
Almost every page of The Treasure Principle had my brain working in overdrive. As someone who enjoys thinking, this was a pleasurable experience. I certainly didn’t expect it. While so many religious writers tackle money from the “God has promised you riches” perspective, Randy Alcorn lets us know why God has promised us abundance. Here’s a hint: it’s not to horde it and leave it for our children.
Although I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review, you have just read my honest opinion of this compelling book.